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“Reader Questions” are answered three days a week — Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays — by TPG Senior Writer Julian Mark Kheel.
There are some great credit card sign-up bonuses out right now and TPG reader Will wants to know whether he can get one without starting entirely from scratch…
I’m an existing Amex Premier Rewards Gold cardholder and I’ve been curious about the new Platinum and its sign-up offer. If I were to apply for an upgrade to the Platinum, would I still receive the same sign-up bonus?TPG Reader Will
Will is referring to the new 60,000-point bonus on The Platinum Card from American Express, which heads our list of top cards this month. Amex has recently added some new benefits to its top-of-the-line card, such as a $200 annual Uber credit and 5x points on prepaid hotels, and while the annual fee on the card has increased by $100, you can still get fantastic value from both the travel benefits and the Membership Rewards points.
But instead of applying for a new Platinum, what if Will tries to upgrade his existing Premier Rewards Gold card? Will he still get the 60,000 bonus points? Unfortunately, the answer is no. The Platinum card, like most credit cards, only comes with a sign-up bonus for new applicants. Folks who convert an existing card won’t get the 60,000 points.
However, there are a few ways you can get a bonus for upgrading your credit card. One is to call your bank and ask if there are any bonuses available for upgrading. These sort of bonuses are generally targeted and not available to everyone, but it never hurts to ask — the worst that can happen is you aren’t eligible and you can decline to upgrade.
The other option, particularly in the case of American Express, is to check your online account for any targeted upgrade offers. These offers have appeared on Amex’s online portal from time to time on a fairly consistent basis over the past year. Again, not everyone will be targeted or eligible for an upgrade bonus, but it only takes a few minutes to sign into your online account. Look in the Amex Offers section or in the area near the top of your Account Summary. You can also try finding the premium version of a card you already have, click “Apply For An Upgrade” and see if any bonus offers appear.
Hopefully you’ll find yourself targeted, Will, but if not, you’ll have to apply for the card the old-fashioned way. Thanks for the question, and if you’re a TPG reader who’d like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at email@example.com.
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees